More than 65 Impressionist masterpieces from Paris’s renowned Musée d’Orsay are coming to Adelaide. The major international exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) will feature the French masters who redefined painting in the 19th century, including Monet, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Gauguin and Degas.

One of the exhibition’s highlights will be Monet’s celebrated snowscape La Pie (The Magpie). The painting’s innovative use of light and colour saw it rejected by the conservative Salon, the biggest annual art exhibition of its time, in 1869.

Monet’s masterpiece will hang alongside works by 28 renowned Impressionist artists: from the dark tones of Manet’s Spanish-influenced paintings; to the rich green and blue hues of the French countryside as painted by Cézanne, Monet and Pissarro; to the rosy pigments of Renoir’s and Morisot’s female figures.

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AGSA director Nick Mitzevich describes the exhibition as “the most important exhibition ever to be shown at the Art Gallery of South Australia”. “With so few Impressionist works held in Australian collections,” he says, “the exhibition presents a rare opportunity for Australians to see the movement’s radical evolution of colour.

“It is a privilege to be working with the esteemed Musée d’Orsay to bring these masterpieces of French Impressionism to Australia. We anticipate that an exhibition of this calibre and content will … provide a unique perspective on one of the most groundbreaking movements in Western art.”

AGSA will stage the exhibition in one of the country’s few 19th-century gallery spaces, the Elder Wing, recalling the light-filled interior of the former metro station that now houses the Musée d’Orsay on Paris’s left bank.

Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay will run from 29 March to 29 July 2018.

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